Development of a Multi-Target Contingency Management Intervention for HIV Positive Substance Users

Maxine Stitzer, Donald Calsyn, Timothy Matheson, James Sorensen, Lauren Gooden, Lisa Metsch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Contingency management (CM) interventions generally target a single behavior such as attendance or drug use. However, disease outcomes are mediated by complex chains of both healthy and interfering behaviors enacted over extended periods of time. This paper describes a novel multi-target contingency management (CM) program developed for use with HIV positive substance users enrolled in a CTN multi-site study (0049 Project HOPE). Participants were randomly assigned to usual care (referral to health care and SUD treatment) or 6-months strength-based patient navigation interventions with (PN + CM) or without (PN only) the CM program. Primary outcome of the trial was viral load suppression at 12-months post-randomization. Up to $1160 could be earned over 6 months under escalating schedules of reinforcement. Earnings were divided among eight CM targets; two PN-related (PN visits; paperwork completion; 26% of possible earnings), four health-related (HIV care visits, lab blood draw visits, medication check, viral load suppression; 47% of possible earnings) and two drug-use abatement (treatment entry; submission of drug negative UAs; 27% of earnings). The paper describes rationale for selection of targets, pay amounts and pay schedules. The CM program was compatible with and fully integrated into the PN intervention. The study design will allow comparison of behavioral and health outcomes for participants receiving PN with and without CM; results will inform future multi-target CM development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-71
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Behavior targets
  • Contingency management
  • HIV disease
  • Health care incentives
  • Substance use disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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